As of this morning (Friday) Tropical Storm Isaac appeared to be picking up speed as it drove past the Florida Keys and headed into the open Waters of the Gulf of Mexico, where it was expected to spare the city of Tampa but draw attention away from the Republican convention as it moves on towards New Orleans. It already has drawn some reporters away from the convention, among them, Fox News's Shepard Smith and CNN's Anderson Cooper and Soledad O'brien, who were assigned to New Orleans in advance of Isaac's expected arrival there on Wednesday. NBC said that the decision on the number of people it will move from Tampa to New Orleans will be made on a "moment by moment" basis. By the time Isaac makes landfall, wherever it turns out to be, the warm waters of the Gulf are expected to have transformed the storm into a category-2 hurricane, packing winds of at least 100 mph. Over the weekend, the television networks, which would ordinarily have been devoting their lead stories to the convention, were already focusing on Isaac and its potential for destruction. CNN said it would be able to cover both stories adequately. "We certainly can walk and chew gum at the same time," CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist told Bloomberg News. Nevertheless, the prospect of having scenes of destruction juxtaposed with scenes of celebrations at the convention must certainly pose a dismaying scenario for the GOP. "An uncomfortable split-screen image," is the way The New York Times described it.

27/08/2012